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Meet Courtney Gear, MA, Senior Talent Solutions Expert

Courtney partners with clients to develop assessments that help them hire better employees and develop talent internally.

Where did you grow up?

Carrollton, Texas (a suburb of Dallas).

Married? Do you have children? Pets?

Six years ago, I married my college sweetheart, Tyrel. We have a five-year-old chocolate lab named Lola Brown.

What led you into this field?

After my undergraduate work, I traveled for a year as a Leadership Development Consultant for my sorority and loved it. I really enjoyed developing college students to become effective leaders and to help them understand the nuts and bolts of a variety of organizations. My contract ended and I moved back to Dallas where I accepted a job as a college recruiter. I continued to travel a great deal. I thought recruiting would be more of a temporary career move until I went to graduate school, but I ended up staying for six years! Time flew by, and even though it was a lot of fun, I knew it wasn’t going to be a long-term career for me. I wanted fulfillment in a different way—I wanted to see the impact of my work. I had a great mentor who challenged me to make a move into I/O psychology. So with a huge leap of faith, I moved to Minnesota, got my master’s degree, and then landed this job.

What or who has influenced your career the most?

I have a great mentor in the I/O psychology field in Dallas who basically told me I was wasting my time as a recruiter, working long hours for a job I wasn’t passionate about. She told me to apply to a strong master’s program, move away for two years, and then apply the knowledge I gained as a recruiter to bring a unique perspective. It really forced me to reevaluate my career goals, and in the end, I’m so glad I did. The support she gave me as well as the support of my husband and family was integral to my success.

What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you find most challenging?

I love learning about people’s jobs and the way organizations are structured. I also really enjoy doing leadership development work—when you get to learn more about what makes a person tick, and then use those things to their advantage—that feels like you are making a real impact. As for challenging, it would have to be trying to quickly pick up company nuances and interpreting the lingo.

What do you think it takes to be successful in your role?

It’s important to ask good questions and to try and put yourself in your client’s shoes. It helps you to get a better understanding of their obstacles and considerations.

What are some of the industry-specific challenges you see for the future?

We need to remain relevant and keep up with technology in a way that won’t compromise our integrity. It’s all about balance.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t take a job for the money. Take the job you want and the money will come.

What’s your most valuable professional tool?

Outlook and Excel—I’m a total nerd when it comes to using technology to get organized!

Passions? Hobbies? Interests outside of work?

I love anything wine-related. I enjoy visiting wineries and vineyards. I also love animals, so activities that allow me to include my dog are awesome. We take long walks and go to the dog park. I also enjoy traveling to new places.

What is something no one knows about you?

I originally wanted to be a forensic psychologist, so I took a job as a researcher in a lab that studied inmate behaviors and tattoos. I quickly decided it wasn’t the field for me. I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky person and I found it too depressing.

Favorite TV show?

I get sucked into all sorts of TV shows, so it’s hard to pick just one, but currently I’m loving Grace and Frankie on Netflix—it’s super funny.

What’s the last book read?

“Bitter is the New Black” by Jen Lancaster. It’s laugh-out-loud funny!

What’s your favorite lunch?

Mi Cocina is my favorite restaurant (I really missed Tex Mex while living in Minnesota), so I would say anything from there would be my favorite!

You work hard, but personal time is important too. What’s been your best vacation spot ever? Why? Do you have a dream destination?

As for best vacation spot, it’s a toss-up between the Black Hills of South Dakota and Boston, Massachusetts. They’re very different places, but I enjoyed them equally. My dream destination is Italy. I want to travel around drinking wine, eating tons of pasta and bread, and checking out the sites.

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